News Column

Circle Cinema's 85th anniversary five-day celebration starts Thursday

July 7, 2013


July 07--The Circle Cinema's 85th anniversary will be feted beginning Thursday in a five-day celebration, with special events including rare screenings, guest appearances and a film festival for movies made in Oklahoma.

The venerable theater also will open a new auditorium that will double its seating capacity, as well as a new lobby, sidewalk entrance and concession stand in time for the events, which begin with a Thursday art show opening in the gallery and Friday's member reception.

But three highlights for fans of local film events take place Saturday, Sunday and Monday, the last of which is the actual birthday of the theater. It will be recognized that evening with a series of free events inside and outside the theater, where Lewis Avenue south of Admiral Boulevard will be closed from 6-10 p.m.

These events include:

Saturday, July 13

The "Made in Oklahoma Film Festival" begins with a 2:10 p.m. showing of 2008's "Rainbow Around the Sun" followed by "Left of Center" at 4:30 p.m. There will question-and-answer sessions with filmmakers following each of the screenings, including those on Sunday, July 14: a documentary honoring Vietnam War veterans, "Bill's Thud," at 12:30 p.m., and "Home, James," the Tulsa-shot romantic drama that recently won Best Oklahoma Feature at Oklahoma City's DeadCenter Film Festival.

Sunday, July 14

The Jimmy Stewart classic "Harvey" will screen at 2 p.m. with Peggy Helmerich in attendance. Known as Peggy Dow when she made the 1950 comedic drama, Helmerich was a young Hollywood star on the rise when she retired from motion pictures to marry Walter Helmerich III, the Tulsa oilman and philanthropist, and make this her home.

Helmerich will talk about her Hollywood experience, including the making of "Harvey" with Stewart, in this special "conversation with the audience," as it's being billed.

Monday, July 15

A ribbon-cutting event, Walk of Fame dedication, student film showings and more are set for Monday's free events. The most nostalgia-filled of these will likely be an 8:30 p.m. tribute to the "Uncanny Film Festival and Camp Meeting," or better known as the early 1970s "Mazeppa" late-night program that featured Gailard Sartain and Gary Busey, among other local talents, in a weekend comedy program that pre-dated "Saturday Night Live" and played out in comedy scenes staged around the showings of horror movies.

Jim Millaway, who portrayed the popular "Mazeppa" character Sherman Oaks, will host a presentation of multiple episode film clips at this event.

More information about Circle Cinema's 85th anniversary events and regular film programming are available online at or by calling the theater at 918-592-3456.

Michael Smith 918-581-8479


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